(This is my interview project of English for Islamic Studies (EFIS). I interviewed Siti Aminah, S.Hum, who is one of the inspirational women from Aceh, also one of (women) leaders. Please make a citation or reference if you take some part of this interview report. Many thanks.. and enjoy! )
Talking about the woman is never enough, especially about the woman as a leader. The feasibility and capability of woman to be a leader still much debated until now, whether woman is deserve to be a leader or not. Commonly, people debate over the status of woman as a leader in Islam perspective, or the eligibility in gender equality. In Muslim communities, woman is a sensitive issue in leadership position. Even though the reality has shown that women can compete with men, some people use religious reasons to block women’s abilities to take the roles in leadership.
Many of people stereotypes are obviously incorrect about women capabilities in leadership. In modern practice, Muslim women play many roles in society in the fields of religion, politics, science, medicine, education, and others. They prove that they actually received higher effectiveness ratings than men. They are smart, tough, powerful, and responsible, and these are proofs that women, will all their abilities, they deserve to be leaders and they can change the world.
Siti Aminah, a young talented girl, was a leader of SumberPost, a magazine of Islamic State University Ar Raniry, Banda Aceh. She thought she deserved to be a leader because the members of SumberPost trust her. “The feasibility of a leader is not depend on what you rate for yourself, but it is depend on the view of others for yourself, whether we deserve to be the leader or not,” she said.
During the period of her leadership in SumberPost, her vision was reviving the cadre recruitment and the mission is making SumberPost as a learning event for students who have talents in the field of journalism, photography and so on by providing some training. Even not all activities were held, but her vision is completely success. “Talking about the organization, it is not possible to runs all activities by myself, it must embrace together with the other members. However, my vision and mission are appropriate, so that the result is regeneration. Alhamdulillah, up to now the SumberPost is still exist.”
Siti Aminah did not nominate herself to be a leader of SumberPost. She emerged as a candidate after the Great Forum of SumberPost. Moreover, viewing from the side of the constitutionally, she was not worthy of being a leader because the candidates are not allowed except from the Faculty of Dakwah, meanwhile she came from a Faculty of Adab. She did not even have the basic capabilities in the field of journalism. However, SumberPost had a vacuum for a few years. Then her leadership was restoring back the next generation of SumberPost.
She has a point of view about the perspective of a woman as a leader. “Actually, I also agree that women can’t become leaders. Because many elements of consideration such as the weakness owned by women than men. However, in the urgent situation, why isn’t woman served as a leader? In the context of the selection of the SumberPost leader, there are no men who were brave and ready to be a leader (at that time), then I asked to be the leader. Imagine, when all of us were not ready, then who will continue the relay of leadership? It is precisely, if women have the nerve, then what should I’m afraid of? Or what should I care about? I should afraid if I was unable to run my mandate properly. That’s it!” she claimed.
In fact, many Muslim women have proven their leadership. Representation of women has exist and reached in every selection. Siti Aminah said that in this case, if a Muslim woman trusted by the people to be a leader, then they must be honest and trustworthy. If a Muslim woman become a leader not in urgent situation (as experienced by her), it means the woman is ready because she has the capability to lead and trusted by her people. The problem, though the woman is ready to lead, are the people ready to be led? Because the people paradigm have not been open minded towards the representation of women in public.
And so, if it is not in the urgent condition, it means Allah already set up each side of all human life. So, Siti Aminah reminded to all Muslim women leaders to keep on being tough and istiqamah like Cut Nyak Dhien (a Muslim woman hero from Aceh), Aisyah binti Abu Bakar ra (the wife of Prophet Muhammad Saw and a leader of The Battle Camel), and leaders of other female role models in the history of Islam. She also reminded that Islam has set the limit between men and women. “The rights and obligations of women are already regulated in Islam. (I think) it doesn’t matter that the women become leaders”.
Muslim women contribute important things to their communities and countries, and they should be valued for the services they provide. It is important to allow women to have the same opportunities and to be leaders. Therefore, a Muslim woman is allowed to obtain any position of leadership and authority for which she is qualified.